Per Kirkeby (Danish, b. 1938)
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Per Kirkeby (Danish, b. 1938)


Per Kirkeby (Danish, b. 1938)
oil on canvas
47¼ x 78¾ in. (120 x 200 cm.)
Painted in 1979
Galerie Michael Verner, Cologne.
Private Collection, Germany.
Bern, Kunsthalle Bern, 1979 (illustrated in the catalogue).
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Lot Essay

While Per Kirkeby's paintings are grounded in the tradition of American abstract expressionism they remain suspended between the traditional catagories usually described as either representational or abstract art. Without such intense angst of abstract expressionism, it is this suspension that imbues the artist's works with a sense of discovery. Without adhering to a traditional framework, Kirkeby's art does adhere to one of the most profoundly-felt and understood core ingredients of Scandinavian culture; nature. It is nuature in its various forms that has inspired him and it is his translations of the world around him that have inspired the viewer. While not entirely representing the external world, Kirkeby translates his experience on to the canvas through a series of layers of paint and rich colourful surfaces that overlap to create a poetic rendention of the subject. He had himself described the composition of his works as a 'deposit' - a geological term. In this way, the subject of his paintings and their materiality are entwined, for they are composed of and allude to surface and substrata conditions, structure and erosion. The present work, Untitled, is a fine artistic demonstration of Kirkeby's reasoning behind his methods of execution, for he says about his work: 'Painting is laying layer upon layer ...It is like the geological strata with cracks and discordances. But each new layer, however furious, is always infected and colored by the underlying one'.

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